|Call Me By Your Name / Sensual, transcendent, an Oscar contender.|
Call Me By Your Name, a new film by Italian film director Luca Guadagnino, is a tender coming-of-age tale debuting this week that already has won over critics and audiences and is projected to be an Oscar contender.
A sensual and transcendent tale of first love, Call Me By Your Name is based on an acclaimed novel by André Aciman that is set in the summer of 1983 in the beautiful north of Italy countryside. My wife and I enjoyed The Cinema Club's sneak preview of the film Sunday morning in a northwest Washington, D.C. theater.
|Call Me By Y our Name|
Throughout the 2 hour and 12 minute film, we see how Elio enjoys a close relationship with his parents. His father (played by Michael Stuhlbarg of HBO's Boardwalk Empire fame) is a classical archeologist specializing in Greco-Roman culture while his mother (played by Amira Casar) is a translator, who is always looking out for Elio's best cultural interests.
Indeed, Elio's interest is getting out in the world and experiencing things on his own, including having sex with both Marzia and with Oliver, a very charming and closeted 24-year-old American doctorate scholar (played by Armie Hammer), who is interning with Elio's father for the summer. Elio bonds with Oliver over their shared Jewish heritage, the Italian countryside they see together riding their bicycles, and his emerging sexuality. In this movie about desire, we soon learn, love means having no geography; it knows no boundaries.
During the second half of the film, the main focus is on physicality and emotions and the budding relationship between Elio and Oliver, in which Elio discovers the beauty of awakening desire and how it will alter his life forever. When Elio and Oliver kiss and engage in sex, it's all about figuring things out, both physically and emotionally. There are some long stretches without dialogue.
Near the conclusion, after Oliver has returned home, Elio's father pulls him aside and the two share a frank and accepting father-son talk about sexuality. Professor Perlman is very articulate when he conveys to his son to grow up and "be the person you needed when you were younger." Finally, Elio smiles at the end of this long scene. As the film's credits roll, we see him internalize what's happened in the entire movie.
Call Me By Your Name: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics • Rated R • 132 minutes • In English, Italian, French and German with English subtitles. • Directed by Luca Guadagnino • Screenplay by James Ivory • Original songs performed by Sufjan Stevens.